Spring Cleaning: Face Polishes

Bye, bye, winter!  It's time to polish away the cold-weather blues and spring forward with a fresh complexion. Here, top picks and expert tips on how to get your glow on with manual exfoliation.

With sheet masks seemingly STILL all the rage in beauty, the K-Beauty obsession has me wondering: have we all forgotten to exfoliate?  Good heavens I sure hope not.

While there are conflicting opinions on how much manual exfoliation (as opposed to chemical) is necessary, surely we can all agree on one thing: there's something about scrubbing your face that just FEELS so good.  Whether you're in search of something adjustably gentle or full-on aggressive, there's an appropriate product for your skin. 

Tony Moly Gold Black Sugar Mask

No, this isn't an actual mask!  This heavenly-scented sweet scrub features large sugar granules that start out feeling quite course, but gently polish away dead cells.  Castor oil and honey sooth for a complexion that's smooth, not irritated. Possible side effects include: strong desire for sugar cookies.  Focus application on areas that need it most, especially chin and nose.  Suitable as a body scrub.  Grab this steal of a deal on Amazon.

R&F Microdermabrasion Paste

Talk about satisfaction: the Rodan + Fields Microdermabrasion Paste (part of the enhancements line) feels good, smells good, and delivers a serious scrubbing.  High-glide (won't tug at skin) and oil-free, it's suitable for all skin types.  Fat-soluble derivatives of Vitamin C brighten, while Vitamin E smooths.  Use on dry skin, if you're a seasoned exfoliator, or start on wet skin for a gentler polishing experience.  R&F consultant (and fellow registered dietitian!) Christa Valentine enthuses "the microdermabrasion paste leaves my skin with a gorgeous glow. My favorite way to use it this time of year? Exfoliate with paste before applying my self tanner!" Get yours here, and check out the Lip Renewing Serum for the smoothest kisser EVER.

Lush Dark Angels Face and Body Cleanser

I reached out to my good friend and beauty expert Lily Sage of Sage Beauty Blog, who swears by this charcoal and avocado-infused exfoliating cleanser.  According to Lush, it's suitable for oily, acne-prone, and/or sensitive skin.  Sage says, "I love Dark Angels as a daily cleanser and facial scrub combo! You get the purifying benefits of charcoal with gentle exfoliation plus improved radiance. It unclogs pores and calm breakouts." The result?  This just shot to the top of my beauty wish-list.  Get yours here.

MUAC Micro Polish and Lactic C Scrub

If you've clicked on the beauty tab here on the EFEL blog, you're aware that my deep-seated love for MUAC (Makeup Artists Choice) knows no bounds.  And for good reason: the brand delivers professional-grade products at competitive prices.  The Micro Polish is a dead ringer for the retail microderm product that started the craze (rest in peace, Dr. Brandt), and will only set you back $22.50.  It's formulated to replicate the results of a professional microdermabrasion treatment and (bonus!) contains brightening licorice root and mulberry fruit extracts.  

According to Wendy Green, Operations Manager for MUAC, "The Micro polish is formulated with the same aluminum crystals used in micro dermabrasion machines. The key here is to use a light touch and to realize that the particles are extremely finite.  Kathleen [celebrity makeup artist and founder of MUAC] finds its best used in the shower for facial exfoliation and skin discoloration issues."

As for the Lactic C Scrub, this multitasker is AGGRESSIVE in the best possible way.  I'd recommend using this scrub at night, as the lactic acid offers a bit of chemical exfoliation. And, as with any exfoliating product, be sure to follow-up the next day with an SPF of 30 or higher.  Here's a run down of the key ingredients, courtesy of MUAC:

  • The lactic acid will gently exfoliate. 
  • Citric acid for light exfoliation.
  • All natural perlite particles will scrub without irritating the skin.
  • Macadamia Glycerides provide natural moisture. 
  • Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract add antioxidant properties to the skin. 
  • Green Tea Extract is an anti inflammatory and promotes younger looking skin.
  • Retinyl Palmitate - Vitamin A conditions skin and is great for anti aging skin care.
  • Ascorbid Acid - Vitamin C helps promote collagen synthesis.  Antioxidant.

So, essentially this product contains every ingredient you'd want on your face, ever.  Green says "Lactic C Scrub was reformulated with perlite, a natural scrubbing mineral.  We like this particular product for the body… It's particularly nice for keratosis."  That's right - this will brighten your beautiful face AND help eliminate rough, scaly patches from the body.  A springtime win-win.  

Boscia Tsubaki Oil-Infused Exfoliating Powder

Whether you want a little exfoliation or a lot, this feather-weight powder has you covered (or, uncovered, rather, as it will reveal new skin).  Formulated to be gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin, it can be used on a daily basis (don't try that with anything else on this list).  Adjust to suit your needs by adding a little bit of water (for a more thorough scrub) or enough to make a liquidy paste (for a gentler experience).  I totally steal this from my mom's bathroom when I visit her, and am always pleasantly surprised by how smooth my skin feels, despite being partial to more aggressive products.  Its versatility makes the Tsubaki Oil-Infused Exfoliating Powder a must-have, especially for mature and sensitive skin.  

Cheers to spring.  Enjoy your complexion.  Enjoy your life!